Were the April downpours to blame?
This week Marks and Spencer, the major British retailer, reported their first drop in annual profits for three years.
Although Marc Bolland, Chief Executive said it had “performed well in a challenging economic environment,” UK sales for the retailer only rose by 0.3 per cent. The 1.8 per cent drop in annual profits has been partly blamed on the almost unending downpours in April. The British Retail Consortium also said the weather contributed to a 12.6 per cent drop in the number of high It has also been blamed on the competition in high street fashion and wider economic conditions.
Bolland blamed this slump in UK economy for scaling back the ambition to grow sales by 2.5 billion.
Menswear, kidswear and lingerie have held up well, yet womenswear’s performance was less remarkable. Niel Saunders, Managing Director of analyst group Conlumino, claims this is due to poor store layout and improvements of rivals such as John Lewis. To try and address this issue, M&S have launched several pilot stores in the UK with a revised store design.
Hope for the future of the company is also reliant on online and international sales. Bolland said: “We are well on track to become a truly international multi-channel retailer. By the end of this year we will be transacting from ten websites worldwide and opening around 100 international stores per year.”
Shares in M&S rose 6p to 344.3p On Tuesday.